Solve The Mys­tery

When Louisa finds a map of a brand new house, she thinks her fam­ily is mov­ing far away!

Girls' World - - October Contents -

“Ihope Grandma likes my card,” Louisa chat­ted with her cat as she set down her crayons. She picked up the card and held it to close to her face to in­spect it. “Her birthday is this week­end, and I want it to be the best, most beau­ti­ful card ever. What do you think, Whiskers?” She flashed the card in front of Whiskers, who let out a meow in ap­proval.

“Okay, good. I hope she likes it as much as you do!” Louisa laughed. “Now all I need to do is sign it be­fore walk­ing over to Grandma’s house to stick it in her mail­box. That’s the perk of liv­ing one street away!” She set down her card down on the kitchen counter and started search­ing for a pen. She opened one drawer, then an­other, then an­other with­out suc­cess.

“Whiskers, did you hide all the pens?” she teased. “I can’t find a sin­gle one.” Louisa pulled open a fourth drawer, but in­stead of a pen, she found a map of a house’s floor­plan stuffed inside. She had al­most tossed the map aside, but then a room with “Louisa” writ­ten across it caught her eye.

Louisa’s brows fur­rowed in con­fu­sion.“what’s this?” she asked aloud as she scanned the map. It showed the lay­out of a house’s up­stairs and down­stairs

floors. Each room was la­beled: One room said “Par­ents’ bed­room,” one said “Louisa’s bed­room” and there was even a bed­room la­beled for Louisa’s older sis­ter, Ryann, who spent most of the year liv­ing away at col­lege. The set-up looked noth­ing like the lay­out of Louisa’s ac­tual home, so why would her par­ents have a map of a ran­dom house?

Sud­denly, Louisa be­gan to put the pieces to­gether. Her heart sank.

“Are Mom and Dad try­ing to move?!” she gasped. Her mind started to race.

Why would Mom and Dad want to move? she fran­ti­cally thought. Our house is per­fect. It’s where I grew up. It’s where I held my first-ever sleep­over. It’s where I learned how to ride my bike. It’s so close to Grandma!

Louisa’s eyes welled up with tears just think­ing about mov­ing away from her grandma.

“Whiskers, this can’t be hap­pen­ing,” Louisa stam­mered. “This is so un­fair! How could Mom and Dad

keep such a huge se­cret from us? I need to fig­ure out what’s go­ing on.” Louisa picked up her cat and started look­ing around the house for mov­ing clues. She no­ticed the liv­ing room was filled with large piles of clothes and got a lit­tle con­cerned, but she tried to stay pos­i­tive. Maybe Mom and Dad are just do­ing one of their clean­ing sprees again, she thought. They love those. When Louisa re­al­ized that all of the clothes were Ryann’s, she breathed a sigh of re­lief. Her sis­ter was get­ting ready to head back to col­lege to fin­ish up her de­gree in in­te­rior de­sign, so it made sense for her to be pack­ing. The rest of the house looked to­tally nor­mal … un­til Louisa made her way to the garage. There, she found stacks of card­board boxes piled up near her dad’s golf clubs. “Those are mov­ing boxes,” Louisa whis­pered to her­self. “And there are way too many for them to just be Ryann’s, even with all her art sup­plies and the sum­mer school projects she’s been work­ing on.” Louisa was try­ing to stop her­self from cry­ing when she no­ticed the arm of a stuffed an­i­mal hang­ing over the trash can. She rushed over to the garbage bins to check it out. “Oh, my gosh,” Louisa snif­fled. “Th­ese are all of my child­hood toys. Mom and Dad are re­ally pack­ing ev­ery­thing up!” Louisa let out a loud sob as she ran back inside the house. She could hear both of her par­ents talk­ing in the hall­way up­stairs, so she went to con­front them. They looked star­tled as Louisa bolted to­ward them. “Sweetie, what’s wrong?” her dad asked. “We’re … mov­ing … away … from … Grandma,” Louisa cried, barely able to get a word out. “What?” her mom ques­tioned. “Louisa, what are you talk­ing about?” “I found the map of the new house,” Louisa whim­pered. “And I saw all of the boxes in the garage. You’ve even started toss­ing out some of my old toys that were in the base­ment. I just don’t un­der­stand. I don’t see how you could find a bet­ter house than this! What will Grandma do with­out us nearby?” “Map of the new house?” her mom re­peated in a con­fused tone. “What new house?”

“If we’re mov­ing away from Grandma, that’s news to me,” her dad added.

Louisa wiped her tears and looked back at her par­ents, puz­zled. “Huh? We’re not mov­ing?”

“Louisa, where did you ever get the idea that we’re mov­ing?” her par­ents asked.

Louisa led them back to the kitchen, where she pulled the map out of the drawer.

“See? This is a map of an en­tirely dif­fer­ent house. You guys even marked which bed­room will be mine and which will be Ryann’s.”

Her par­ents stud­ied the map for a few sec­ond be­fore her dad let out a laugh. “What’s so funny?” Louisa de­manded. “Oh, Louisa! We’re not mov­ing.” “Then what’s this map for?” she asked.

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